School News

Stay up to date on school news here.

September 24 - COVID-19 Update
2021-09-24T20:03:56.402Z
September 24 - COVID-19 Update
<h1>September 24 - COVID-19 Update</h1><p>Over the past week there have been a number of changes related to the guidelines for schools for COVID-19. We wanted to take this opportunity to highlight some of these changes and clarify information related to parent notification when a confirmed case of COVID-19 is shared with our schools by parents. We have also been made aware of social media posts that are circulating that make claims regarding mandatory student vaccinations which are based on misinformation that we would like to address and clarify with our families.</p><p><strong>Recent Changes to the Re-Entry Plan and Health Screening Guides</strong><br>On September 22, 2021, the government updated the guidance document for schools following the declaration of a public health emergency in Alberta. We have made changes to our Prairie Rose Re-Entry Plan to reflect the new guidance document. You can find it, along with government guidance and the CMOH order that supports the changes on our website under the tab <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/12HIeN3oaL24UpdR87fT-NGeKXoTXONIU/view?usp=sharing">COVID-19 Resources</a>. Of particular note, the new health screening guide added a new section related to household close contacts. Until now there was no isolation recommendation for members of a family when someone tests positive for COVID-19. The Chief Medical Officer of Health has added a new section that changes this position. It is now <strong>strongly recommended</strong> that anyone who is a household close contact of someone who tests positive for COVID-19 to stay home for 14 days if they are not fully vaccinated. We recognize that this change will have a significant impact on many families and we encourage you to discuss any questions about this update with your school principal. You can find the changes reflected in updates to our <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/12oedZgsqwxJlmL6yMMLlR86E4PeuvGMG/view?usp=sharing">Student Illness Guide</a> and our <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/1IJ8D-GrZniZOevr6tKsVJ0NGb-SRMChH/view?usp=sharing">Adult Illness Guide</a>.</p><p><strong>Reporting COVID-19 Cases in Schools</strong><br>As we committed to in our re-entry plan, we have been notifying school communities when parents and staff have self-identified cases of COVID-19 in schools. To date, 10 of Prairie Rose’s 18 public schools have received notifications. When a case is self-reported to a school, the following information is collected to determine if the positive individual was in contact with others:</p><ol><li>What was the first date of symptoms?</li><li>Did the individual attend school when symptomatic?</li><li>If they did attend school, what classes would they have been in contact with?</li></ol><p>When determining whether the individual attended school when contagious, we take the first day of symptoms and go back two days. For example, if we are notified that a student first had symptoms on a Friday and was in school each day that week, we would consider them a close contact of others in the school. However, if we are informed that the first day of symptoms was on a Monday morning and that student had not been in school since the Friday prior, we would not include them on the close contact list. This process of going back two days is the same we used last year when working with Alberta Health Services to identify close contacts. While we understand that families want to know as much information as possible, we also need to balance that desire with an individual’s right to privacy and whether the positive case has an impact on others. This is why we only add positive cases to our reporting when they are deemed to be a close contact with others in the school community. When positive cases are confirmed to have been in class, parents receive a notification via School Messenger informing them of the first positive case along with instructions for accessing daily COVID updates. All the cases are also listed on the Prairie Rose website which can be found here: <a href="https://www.myprps.com/covid-19-reporting">https://www.myprps.com/covid-19-reporting</a></p><p><strong>Social Media Misinformation</strong><br>This past week it was brought to our attention that a post was circulating on social media claiming that school divisions were being deceptive in terms of mandatory vaccines, suggesting changes would be coming after the enrollment count on September 29th. We would like to make it very clear that this is inaccurate and fear mongering information and there have been zero conversations or engagement with school boards about this direction. School boards do not have the authority to mandate vaccinations. Our role is to ensure every student in Alberta has access to a quality education in an inclusive learning environment, which we will continue to support while prioritizing the safety of our students and staff.&nbsp;</p><p>We would like to thank all of our school community for their understanding and support as we navigate another school year of uncertainty. Together we will continue to move forward with providing quality learning opportunities for students, despite the challenges that exist. If you have any questions about the information in this latest update, we encourage you to bring them forward to your school principal.</p><p>Sincerely,<br>Roger Clarke<br>Superintendent of Schools</p>
Board Meeting Highlights - September 14, 2021
2021-09-17T20:24:38.000Z
Board Meeting Highlights - September 14, 2021
<h1>Board Meeting Highlights - September 14, 2021</h1><p><strong>Communications Report</strong></p><p>Director of Communications Angela Baron presented an overview of the main communication work that was completed across Prairie Rose during the 2020-2021 year and what was planned for 2021-2022. Some of the highlights of the report include managing COVID-19 communications (notifications, re-entry plans and inquiries), a rebranding of Prairie Rose School Division to Prairie Rose Public Schools, the launch of the new myPRPS (myprps.com) websites for all schools and the division, research and design of the new Home Plus Learning Network, an upcoming internal communications audit, a review of the cold weather section of the current inclement weather policy, and work as part of the design and implementation of the new assurance model that focuses on stakeholder feedback. The full report can be found here: <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tobjYVLxGbCRdpxAA5oDp7bcOntOnzKY/view">https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tobjYVLxGbCRdpxAA5oDp7bcOntOnzKY/view</a></p><p><strong>New Brigden School Future Maintenance and Space Utilization</strong></p><p>The board discussed the next steps for maintenance and space utilization at New Brigden School following the board decision on September 2, 2021, to end the school review process and keep the school open beyond the current school year. Trustees discussed and approved on a number of items they would like followed up on including removal or redeployment of portables, continued funding/in-kind support from the community, the addition of a financial update (based on the new funding formula) of New Brigden and all small Prairie Rose schools to the annual board monitoring schedule, and consideration of required maintenance projects at New Brigden School to be added to the Capital Plan.</p><p><strong>Truth and Reconciliation Day – Sept 30, 2021</strong></p><p>The board discussed what was happening across the country and at other school divisions in Alberta in regards to the announcement that September 30, 2021, would be declared a national holiday to commemorate Truth and Reconciliation. As the 30th was not given consent as a provincial holiday, there are varying ways each school organization is handling the day. While some have made it an operational day for all staff and students, other school divisions have decided to make it a non-instruction day or a holiday day. There was some discussion about the difference and impact to the division under each scenario. It was also noted that due to the short timeline, there is some concern that teachers and staff would not be adequately prepared to provide the best possible educational opportunity for students around truth and reconciliation. The board voted 5-1 in favour of making September 30th, for the 2021-2022 school year only, a non-operational day with pay for all staff, to recognize the day for Truth and Reconciliation.</p><p><strong>Advanced Vote</strong></p><p>The board passed a motion authorizing Returning Officer Ryan Boser to hold and advanced vote for the upcoming October 18th trustee election, should there be a slate of candidates in any of the six Prairie Rose wards.</p><p><strong>Welcome of the New Deputy Superintendent</strong></p><p>The board and upcoming Superintendent Reagan Weeks welcomed Mark Heinricks to the meeting and congratulated him on being selected as the new role as Deputy Superintendent. See the announcement here: <a href="https://www.myprps.com/news/chief-deputy-superintendent-announcement-1630611979151">https://www.myprps.com/news/chief-deputy-superintendent-announcement-1630611979151</a></p><p>&nbsp;</p>
Health Protocols in Schools - Update
2021-09-16T01:59:39.260Z
Health Protocols in Schools - Update
<h1>Health Protocols in Schools - Update</h1><p>On Wednesday evening, the province declared a state of public health emergency due to the rising number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and ICU admissions in Alberta. A number of additional public health measures were added as a result of the declaration, including a few for schools.&nbsp;</p><p>Starting Thursday, September 16, 2021, the following public health measures will be implemented all Prairie Rose schools:</p><ul><li>Mandatory masking for grades 4-12 in all public areas and when students cannot be spaced two metres apart. <i>Please ensure you send your child to school with a mask.</i> When students are working at their own work spaces, masks may be removed. This follows the same model as the masking requirement from the 2020-2021 school year.</li><li>Each student in grade K-12 is still required to wear a mask while riding the school bus, as per <a href="https://open.alberta.ca/dataset/4a60eb75-5986-4da2-98d0-b9462e46dfcc/resource/c566b20f-dc1e-4265-bbae-97b33ae43cc2/download/health-cmoh-record-of-decision-cmoh-order-34-2021.pdf">CMOH Health Order 34-2021</a>.</li><li>Cohorting will be implemented, where possible, across all grades. Limited seating in common areas will help support this measure at the junior and high school levels.</li><li>Limited seating for spectators who attend indoor sporting or entertainment events to ⅓ capacity. Masking is now required the entire time a visitor is at the school.</li></ul><p>The school division will continue to follow all the other guidelines as laid out in the <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/12HIeN3oaL24UpdR87fT-NGeKXoTXONIU/view">2021-2022 Re-Entry Plan</a> including enhanced cleaning and notification to families when positive COVID-19 cases are reported from parents of individuals who attended school while ill. Our online re-entry plan will be updated tomorrow to reflect the new changes stated above.</p><p>We would like to thank all our parents for working with us to promote healthy and safe learning communities, despite the challenges we face, such as reviewing the daily health check each day and keeping your child home from school when sick. We would also like to thank our parents for keeping us well informed related to testing and student illness. Your cooperation promotes a collaborative community approach for maintaining a healthy school environment.</p><p>Roger Clarke<br>Superintendent of Schools</p>
Truth and Reconciliation Day - Sept 30
2021-09-15T16:45:29.168Z
Truth and Reconciliation Day - Sept 30
<h1>Truth and Reconciliation Day - Sept 30</h1><p><strong>2021-2022 School Calendar Adjustment - No School September 30th for Staff or Students</strong></p><p>Earlier this month, we shared with parents that a decision would be made by the board at the next public meeting regarding how to approach the newly announced September 30th federal holiday to recognize Truth and Reconciliation in Canada. The day commemorates and remembers residential school survivors and their families. At the public board meeting held Tuesday afternoon, the Prairie Rose Public Schools Board of Trustees voted in favour of making September 30th a non-operational day, which means that students and staff would not attend school on September 30th.&nbsp;</p><p>Key considerations for the board included:</p><ul><li>It was important for Prairie Rose to recognize September 30th in an official manner, especially considering the new information that Canadians learned this past summer in regards to residential schools.</li><li>Could the day be appropriately recognized and coordinated by staff, under short timelines, to ensure curricular activities reflective authentic and acceptable reconciliation actions?</li><li>Would the Alberta Government move to adopting the national holiday in the future?</li><li>What are other school jurisdictions and organizations in Alberta doing?</li></ul><p>The board felt that it was important to ensure that any student-led activities should be appropriately researched and led by those with knowledge and experience of truth and reconciliation. As such, it was decided that due to the short timelines for implementation, September 30, 2021, would be shifted from an instructional day to a non-operational day for the current school year. The decision does not mean that Prairie Rose has established September 30th as a statutory holiday in the future. When the 2022-2023 calendar is created later this school year, the Board of Trustees will research an appropriate path forward. In the meantime, staff will research and plan for appropriate activities that can be utilized across Prairie Rose classrooms for both future Truth and Reconciliation and the June Indigenous Peoples Day.&nbsp;</p><p>We recognize the short notice for families, but also believe that teaching our students about truth and reconciliation is important work that must be done carefully and appropriately.</p><p>Stuart Angle<br>Board Chair<br>Prairie Rose Public Schools</p>
Chief Deputy Superintendent Announcement
2021-09-02T21:52:49.236Z
Chief Deputy Superintendent Announcement
<h1>Chief Deputy Superintendent Announcement</h1><p>Superintendent Roger Clarke and Deputy Superintendent Reagan Weeks are pleased to announce that Mark Heinricks has been chosen as the successful candidate for the role of Chief Deputy Superintendent. The transition will also include the move of Reagan Weeks to the Superintendent of Schools position, effective November 1, 2021.</p><p>Currently serving as the principal of Eagle Butte High School for the past seven years, Mark Heinricks is a long-time employee of Prairie Rose with an extensive teaching and leadership background. Throughout his 32-year teaching career, with the past 25 with Prairie Rose, Mark has worked at Eagle Butte as a teacher, vice principal and principal and at Irvine School as a teacher and vice principal. In addition to a Bachelor of Education degree, he also holds a Master of Education with a focus on Educational Leadership.</p><p>“I am excited to welcome Mark to the Prairie Rose Public Schools executive team,” says Reagan Weeks. “Mark’s integrity, work ethic and commitment to Prairie Rose is second to none and I look forward to working with him in his new role as Chief Deputy Superintendent in charge of Human Resources. Mark’s connection to Prairie Rose and our students will be a huge asset as we continue with developing exceptional learning opportunities for rural students.”</p><p>“I feel very honoured to be selected for this role,” says Mark Heinricks. “I have always valued the teamwork and collaborative environment Prairie Rose has promoted with school leaders. Whether in my role as teacher, mentor or school administrator, I am a firm believer in treating students, parents and staff with dignity and respect. These are values that I know are important to Prairie Rose and I consider a strength as I move into this new position. I will miss the staff and students I have worked so closely with for many, many years… but I am very excited about growing in this new role.”</p><p>Mark Heinricks will make the transition from Eagle Butte to the Deputy Superintendent position on October 1, 2021.</p>
Revised Date: New Brigden School Closure Community Consultation
2021-08-27T07:00:00.000Z
Revised Date: New Brigden School Closure Community Consultation
<h1>New Date: New Brigden School Closure Community Consultation</h1><p>On August 25, 2021, administration presented the Board of Trustees with updated information for New Brigden School. As part of the package, the revised data focused on scenarios beyond the current school year, based on the decision to delay the school review until 2021-2022. While some sections of the revised information remained unchanged from the spring (i.e. maintenance costs), trustees identified notable differences related to financial implications for the current year (2021-2022) and the one following (2022-2023). Senior Administration explained that these differences represent changes introduced last year as part of the new funding formula. To ensure accuracy of the document, the Prairie Rose financial team will be meeting with Alberta Education officials to confirm the new information. <i>Once this has been completed, the revised package will be shared with parents to review</i>.</p><p>Link to previously shared data package: <a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/1TRjurLltohdPASFpl81S_ta1B8qvn-kr/view">June 2021</a></p><p>In consideration of the timing of the new information and the pending community consultation meeting scheduled for next Monday, the board felt that it was in the best interest of parents and the New Brigden community <strong>to delay for two weeks to ensure all parties have appropriate time to review the new information in more detail</strong>. It is important to the board that all stakeholders, including trustees, have adequate time to examine the new data and consider how it may relate to the future of New Brigden School. The new meeting information is listed below:</p><p><strong>Meeting Date</strong>: Tuesday, September 21, 2021<br><strong>Meeting Time</strong>: 7:00 PM<br><strong>Meeting Format</strong>: In-person at New Brigden School (meeting format will be required to comply with COVID-19 pandemic health restrictions)</p><p>Following the public consultation meeting, members of the public will also have the opportunity to provide written submissions to the board for consideration and apply to make an in-person presentation.</p><p>A final decision regarding the notice of motion for closure of New Brigden School&nbsp;will come forward to the board at the October 13, 2021, public board meeting.</p>
2021 Redcliff Scholarship Recipients
2021-06-24T07:00:00.000Z
2021 Redcliff Scholarship Recipients
<h1>2021 Redcliff Scholarship Recipients</h1><p><strong>Eagle Butte and Hat High students awarded 2021 Redcliff Scholarships for Advanced Education</strong></p><p>The Redcliff Scholarship Committee for Advanced Education, is pleased to announce that Eagle Butte High School graduates Cheyanne Peters, Wesley Ewert and Breanna Gawel, and Medicine Hat High School graduate Hailey Schofield are the recipients of the 2021 Redcliff Scholarship Awards. All four students will be attending post-secondary in the fall, with plans to pursue careers in education, nursing and social work. Each student will receive one of four 2021 Redcliff Scholarships for $5,000 towards tuition costs for post-secondary studies. &nbsp;</p><figure class="table"><table><tbody><tr><td><figure class="image"><img src="https://prrdweb.com/images/content/93%20Cheyanne%20Peters.jpg" alt=""></figure></td><td><p><i>Cheyanne Peters (EBHS), plans to attend Lethbridge College to pursue a career in nursing</i></p><p>“My journey towards becoming a nurse is important to me as I aspire to be a positive role model by recognizing it is possible to set challenging personal goals and reach them. I am thankful for the support this scholarship offers as I move onto the next stage in my education journey."</p></td></tr><tr><td><figure class="image"><img src="https://prrdweb.com/images/content/28%20Wesley%20Ewert.jpg" alt=""></figure></td><td><p><i>Wesley Ewert (EBHS), plans to attend Medicine Hat College to pursue a career in education</i></p><p>“I plan to attend Medicine Hat College for one year then transfer to the University of Lethbridge for four years to receive a combined degree in education and mathematics. I was drawn to teaching as a career, as it allows me to share my passion for learning and knowledge with others. This scholarship allows me to focus on my studies to reach this goal.”</p></td></tr><tr><td><figure class="image"><img src="https://prrdweb.com/images/content/36%20Breanna%20Gawel.jpg" alt=""></figure></td><td><p><i>Breanna Gawel (EBHS), plans to attend Medicine Hat College to pursue a career in social work</i></p><p>“Supporting my school and community is important to me, which is why I plan to attend the Medicine Hat College this fall to pursue a career in social work. The Redcliff scholarship helps me reach this goal and I am thankful for the support.”</p></td></tr><tr><td><figure class="image"><img src="https://prrdweb.com/images/content/IMG_20210618_0001.jpg" alt=""></figure></td><td><p><i>Hailey Schofield (MHHS), plans to attend Medicine Hat College to pursue a career in nursing</i></p><p>“I have spent a very large portion of time thinking about my post-secondary goals. I am very passionate about my career choice and will do whatever it takes to get me there. The Redcliff Scholarship supports my dreams and I look forward to accomplishing many great things.”</p></td></tr></tbody></table></figure><p>&nbsp;</p><p>“This year’s scholarship recipients showed great dedication to their studies during what was a very difficult year,” says scholarship chairperson Arnold Frank. “All four students have a passion for giving back to others which is evident in their choice of post-secondary studies. The Redcliff Scholarship Committee is extremely pleased to be able to support these four exceptional individuals, who showed determination and strength through what was a very challenging grade 12 year. I’d like to wish them all the best in whatever their futures hold.”</p><p>The Redcliff Scholarships were established in 2002 and have been awarded to 43 Redcliff students. &nbsp;The awards are possible thanks to two endowed scholarship funds, that were established and are sustained by ongoing contributions of Redcliff organizations, and present and past Redcliff citizens. &nbsp;A third, Frank King Tribute Scholarship Fund, was announced in the spring of 2018 in memory of the late Frank King, while a&nbsp;fourth was added in November of 2020 to honour the legacy of former Redcliff resident David Jon Thomson.</p><p>REDCLIFF SCHOLARSHIPS FOR ADVANCED EDUCATION</p><p><strong>The Redcliff Scholarship for Advanced Education “Original Fund”</strong> was launched at the Reunion of the Redcliff 1944 Grade 1 Class held in September 2002. The aim was to create an endowed scholarship fund, whereby interest and dividends from the invested principal would earn enough money to finance the annual scholarship. &nbsp;To date, contributions to the fund total $249,410.</p><p><strong>“The Four Friends Fund”</strong> scholarship was established in 2006 in memory of the value of the lifelong Redcliff Friendships of Jack Fairhurst, Ron Hodges, John Hudak and Gerald Berkhold. The scholarship has been endowed with contributions of $232,975.</p><p><strong>“Frank King Tribute”</strong> scholarship was established in 2018 in memory of Frank King. &nbsp;As a legacy of the young Frank Walter King, his family and friends established the Frank King Tribute Scholarship that is awarded alongside the other two Redcliff scholarships for advanced education. To date, contributions totaling $31,500 have been received in support of this scholarship.</p><p><strong>“David Jon Thomson Scholarship”</strong> was established in 2020 in memory of David Jon Thomson. Thomson was a well-known business man and lifelong proponent of education with roots in the Medicine Hat and Redcliff communities. As a legacy, his family established the David Jon Thomson Scholarship that is awarded alongside the other three Redcliff scholarships for advanced education. To date, contributions totaling $25,000 have been received in support of this scholarship.</p><p><br>&nbsp;</p>